Food Combining: Fact or Fiction

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Food Combining: Fact or Fiction

If your parents taught you to believe what you read, you might want to reconsider that when it comes to health advice on the Internet.

You’ll be shocked and aghast to learn that some of the theories out there are um…false.

In particular, the idea that eating certain foods together can derail your digestion and cause harmful side effects is bologna, says registered dietician Tamara Duker Freuman of New York City.

Called food combining, those who fear it warn that you must eat fruit alone or else it will feed harmful yeasts in the body. They also caution against eating meat and starches together because the body can’t digest both at the same time, leading to meat putrefying in the gut.

Both notions are hogwash, contends Duker Freuman.

For one, food can’t rot once it’s in your stomach. A human stomach is more acidic than either vinegar or lemon juice, creating an inhospitable environment for microorganisms such as food. No yeast or bacteria can survive there to cause digestive trouble.

Nor does combining starches reduce the acidity in your stomach. Foods don’t control acid levels in the stomach and starches don’t neutralize the acids. The stomach’s main purpose is to blend food to make it easier for the small intestine to do the bulk of your body’s digestive work.

Further, Duker Freuman says, meat doesn’t stay in your system long enough to putrefy. Animal protein is highly digestible, allowing the small intestine to easily break it down and absorb its components.

It’s folly to underestimate the body’s ability to multi-task, she adds, noting that as a full meal passes through your small intestine, each enzyme works simultaneously to absorb the nutrition. Each type of nutrient – protein, fat and sugar (the product of starches) – has its own receptors and absorbing mechanisms, so they don’t compete against each other.

So breathe easy. You can eat fruit with ice cream or a hamburger with french fries and live to tell the tale.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

Pamela Hasterok